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MEI Online: Environmental Issues: Latest News: June 20th 2005


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:: Virotec Awarded Contract for Mine Site Remediation in South Korea

Virotec International Ltd (ASX/ AIM: VTI) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with its strategic partner Geoenvirotec Co Ltd of Daegu, South Korea for a licence to supply its ViroMineTMTechnology to a large-scale remediation project at the former Ulsan Iron Mine located in Ulsan, located 250 km southeast of Seoul. The total value of the contract to Virotec is approximately AUD$540,000, and is expected to be completed by the end of August, 2005.

Virotec will be supplying its Neutra BTM reagent, and providing technical support, know-how and advice to the project.

"The now derelict mine in the port city of Ulsan is being remediated by its owners, the Hyundai Industry Development, with a view to constructing a residential apartment complex on the site", explained Dr Lee Fergusson, Virotecís Chief Operating Officer.

Executive Chairman, Mr Brian Sheeran states that "Virotec and Geoenvirotec have been working on developing this market for some time and this first order is seen as an important step into this potentially large market. We believe that this project will act as a good reference site in Korea and will assist in wider use promotion of Virotecís Technologies in the region".

Hyundai Industry Development assigned the investigation of the project in 2002 to the Korea Agriculture and Rural Infrastructure Corporation (KARICO), in order to reveal the extent of soil and groundwater contamination at the site. The report showed that soil was highly contaminated by heavy metals and metaloids (such as Arsenic, Cadmium, Zinc, and Nickel), and one third of the entire area and most groundwater is contaminated by arsenic generated from elevated levels of arsenopyrite, the most common sulphide mineral at the site.

"KARICO searched for the best technology to remove heavy metals from soils and reduce arsenic in the groundwater without significantly altering pH", said Dr Jeong-Yul Suh, CEO of Geoenvirotec. KARICO contacted Geoenvirotec in October 2002, and laboratory test work performed by Geoenvirotec and Virotec in conjunction with KARICO staff began to demonstrate the efficacy of ViroMineTM Technology to meet these objectives. In particular, the test work utilised Virotecís uniquely blended Neutra BTM reagent, which has been developed specifically with the dual role of modifying soil pH and binding arsenic and other heavy metals. As a result of that test work and an on-site demonstration, KARICO chose ViroMineTM Technology to be used at Ulsan Iron Mine site, and engaged Geoenvirotec to carry out part of the remediation project.




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